PsychEng Seminar: Eye movements facilitate retrieval and creativity, Dr. Jennifer Ryan, Rotman Research Institute

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Eye movements facilitate retrieval and creativity

Dr. Jennifer D. Ryan, Rotman Research Institute

Seminar abstract:

The oculomotor and hippocampal memory systems interact in a reciprocal manner, on a moment-to-moment basis. Eye movements serve to accumulate information from the visual world, contributing to the formation or updating of coherent memory representations. Conversely, memory influences ongoing viewing behavior by increasing the efficiency of active vision. Eye movements can even contribute functionally to memory retrieval by reconstructing the rich, vivid, spatiotemporal details from memory. Moreover, eye movements may have a key role in creativity by facilitating the cycle between encoding and retrieval to develop novel insights. These interactions are mediated by the vast structural and functional links between the two systems. Findings from human and non-human animals, using behavioral, neuropsychological, neuroimaging, and computational modeling methods, will be highlighted to show how the oculomotor system supports memory retrieval and creativity.

Speaker Biography:

Dr. Jennifer Ryan is Director, Scientific and Academic Affairs, and Senior Scientist at The Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest, and she is Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Dr. Ryan’s research explores the nature of memory, including the types of memory that are disrupted with age, neurodegeneration, or focal lesions, and how cognitive strategies may support declining memory function.

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